Hip-hop nation endured one of its biggest traumas when, on this date in 1997, Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G. Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
His murder capstoned the infamous East Coast-West Coast feud among Sean “Puffy” Combs’ New York-based Bad Boy Records and Surge Knight’s Los Angeles-based Death Row Records. His death notably came barely six months after Death Row star Tupac Shaker was similarly gunned down in Las Vegas.
Since then, Biggie has been canonized as one of hip-hop’s brightest stars, and he (along with Shaker) is routinely described as one of the greatest MCS of all time. But the truth of who murdered him still remains hidden. The myriad conspiracy theories implicating Knight, LAPD officers, the Bloods and various intersecting figures only underscore that truth: that even for this iconic rapper, justice remains elusive.
The LAPD released autopsy results in 2012. After being critiqued by his estate’s lawyer, department officials subsequently apologized for not first speaking with Biggie’s family.